The Islamic and Judicial Affairs Committee requested the study of the proposed law, which criminalizes acts that involve aversion to any religion and the spreading of hatred or discrimination.
The committee believes that Saudi Arabia’s religious, political and economic status means that it needs a law that criminalizes racism and hatred, prohibits the formation of racist organizations or ones that promote discrimination and that punishes those who fund racist activities or produce materials that incite hatred.
The draft law, which consists of 29 articles, aims to criminalize all forms of discrimination against individuals and groups, prevent the disparaging of individuals and groups because of their skin color, gender, ethnicity or sect, and prevent the spread of tribal, regional, sectarian, political and ideological prejudices.
It also aims to protect places of worship, prevent attempts to undermine the sanctity of holy sites and damage historical symbols, curb hate speech and to help the government criminalize discrimination and hate speech.
The decision, based on Article 23 of the Council’s system, was made during the council’s 64th ordinary session of the first year of the seventh session, preceded over by Abdullah Al-Asheikh, speaker of the Shoura Council.
After opening the session, the Council reshaped its specialized committees and appointed the committees’ chairmen and vice-chairmen for the work of the second year of the Council’s seventh session, which begins on Rabee Al Awwal 3, 1439 H (Nov. 21, 2017).